As impossible as the odds are – the train just might have a station to pull into.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON March 24, 2011 – It was thought that the thing would just rot where it is in the fire hall parking lot on Plans Road but – there is a pulse, albeit very weak and the group of citizens who took on the task of saving the Freeman station now are in a position to collect donations and issue tax receipts.

That they have to actually go out and raise money when there was all kinds of cash actually on the table is a monument to the everlasting shame of those members on council (Taylor, Dennison. Goldring and Craven) that could not find a place to put the station when the funds to make a move was in the bank. One hopes that if there is ever an Official opening that these council members will have the good grace not to show their faces. Leadership seems to have vacated all four of them in the historical side of building community.

The citizen volunteers have formed a board for a non profit corporation and have begun to thunk through ways they think this piece of Burlington history can be saved.

Waiting for a new home. Some are hoping it just rots away where it is.

Ward 5 council member Paul Sharman was polite to the group that appeared before a council committee awhile back asking (pleading actually) for time to come up with a plan. No one on council felt they had a hope in Hades, but none had the courage to tell them to all go home and look for something else to do.

Sharman asked each of the delegations if they would accept the fact that it wasn’t possible to come up with a viable plan that did not include any of the locations that were already decided against – would they then give up. And each, very reluctantly agreed that if they didn’t have something concrete by April – then perhaps the station’s time had come. It was humbling to watch Les Armstrong’s shoulder sag when he answered the question.

Sharman admits to be quite amazed by the efforts of the committee which includes, Jane Irwin, Les Armstrong, James Smith, with councillors Marianne Meed Ward and Blair Lancaster serving as liaison to the group that is now organized as a non profit corporation.

The group seems to have found the pluck that council never had and while their efforts to date are not really concrete their spirit is solid and one hopes that Council, come April, will see their way to giving this group another six months to come forward with a plan that is concrete.

Jane Irwin showed council what Aurora did with their historical station and argued Burlington had an even better building.

It would be nice to see Councillor Dennison get as excited about saving some history as he did about the elite cycling event – which may be on its way down the tubes as it were.

The community organization is about to be incorporated as a non profit and plan to be back before a council committee at the end of April with a vision, sign posts to show where they want to go and how they propose to get there. “We expect to kick some of this back to council and ask for some guidance and direction from then as we go forward with this”, is the way James Smith an architectural technologist who works in the field of computer aided design CAD, and certainly knows the field.

Burlington Green also has a proposal.


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